How to Repair Wood Rot
Ok… the shady part of the house has some issues with moisture. It just doesn’t seem to dry quickly. The wood is going soft… perhaps developing mold. Your finger can push thru it with ease… It’s not wood any more! YIKES
You have a choice… you can hire a contractor to replace all the boards and spend thousands, or you can fix it yourself for less than 100!
I will show you how I do it. … and if I can… so can you.
This house has wood siding. It is divided into two sections. The bottom slats are running left to right. About halfway up the wall the direction changes to vertical slats. We are in the middle of painting the house. The whole wall will be the same color when finished… for now the lower slats are new paint and the vertical slats with the damage are the old paint color.
Water has penetrated the wood and caused this deterioration to occur.
The first thing you have to do is get all the damaged wood out.
We need to remove it so the material we fill the void with will have
good solid wood to bond to.
This may seem scary… but it’s not.
It feels soft. Mushy. Use a screwdriver to scratch it out.
The wood is very fibrous. It may feel damp. Scratch at it and brush out the fibers.
The initial damage will almost always appear smaller than the actual damage. There may be good wood closer to the surface and bad behind it. Leave the good alone… if it’s strong, structurally sound, leave it. Use your fingers to feel up and into the hole.
When you are finished the hole will be clean. (yes this is a different hole…. this wall actually had several spots I repaired) The point is… all the fibers are gone. It feels solid up inside and behind what you can see on the surface. Finally the debris is removed from the area… everything is clean and ready for the next step.
The stuff you will need:
2. 5 gal paint stir stick
4. Bucket of water
Mix the Epoxy – Time to get your hands gooey!
I highly recommend this product. I’ve tried several and this one really works. It’s not carried in the big box stores… not sure why … guess it doesn’t turn fast enough? I’ll give you a link to it in a minute.
For now, here is how to use it:
You get two tubs of epoxy. A filler and a hardener. Mix them in equal portions. Use a paint stir stick to section off and remove sections from the tub. Each tub is only 6 ozs. So you will have 12 ozs of mixed epoxy to work with. This really fills a lot of holes, so start with a smaller amount. Don’t mix the entire two tubs together to start with!
Mix it until the color is evenly consistent
You get 10 minutes to work with this stuff so… don’t mix to much at first!
I actually have quite a few holes prepped and ready… this ball may be a bit big for your first attempt.
It will begin to get very warm… that will be a good sign your time is almost up.
If you keep your hands dry it will not stick to your palms, very much.
After you mix it you should wipe off residue from your hands with a wet rag.
Take your epoxy and mush it into the void. Press it up and behind all solid surfaces. Push it into all available the space.
Don’t worry at this point if you have to much. We will take care of that in the next step.
This stuff is just like modeling clay… it holds a shape very well. Use a wet paint stir stick to form it into the desired shape.
Keep your stick clean with a rag. Having a bucket of water handy is a good idea.
Scrape the stick on the bucket edge and wipe it down with the rag. Then swish it in the bucket to make sure it’s really wet.
Using a 5 gal stir stick gives you some strength in the “tool”… It won’t bend. It also affords you a long surface to work with, helping to make straight lines that follow the existing ones. Lay the stick along the edge of the real wood and press off the excess epoxy until you have a nice straight line. Remember it works better when it’s moist.
Keep working it. Smoothing it with the damp stick. After the shape is how you want it… you can smooth the surface with your moist fingers. You should feather the edge with your fingers. Smoothing it into the existing wood. When it is dry it will not need sanding if your remove the line that separates real wood with from the epoxy.
It’s ready to paint… well you really should wait 24 hours to let it set up before painting.
Here we are all done! The advantage to this process is clear.
1. A huge savings in material cost.
2. You don’t need a contractor.
Please leave a comment or two about your experiences to help others!
The End Result!
This is the product to get! 12 ozs of product. Just the epoxy in this package… that’s all you need for a modest size repair! If you don’t use it all it will reseal, letting you pace your work over a few days.
Let’s hear about your project! Leave a comment telling us all about it!